Gesture politics

The disintegration of the Brown government is almost painful to watch. here’s the latest example of the replacement of policy by well-intentioned but fatuous gestures:

LONDON (AP) — The British government wants to ban convicted pedophiles from using social networking Web sites such as Facebook, the Home Office said Friday.

The plan involves forcing sex offenders to give any e-mail address they use to police, who will then ask the Web sites to block their access, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said.

Smith said the proposal is aimed at sending out the message that the Internet is ”not a no-go area when it comes to law enforcement.”

”We are changing the law … so that we have got better control over the way in which child sex offenders are able to use the Internet,” Smith said on GMTV.

The government wants to prevent pedophiles from using social networking Web sites to groom children to be sexual abuse victims, according to the Home Office.

Under the proposed legislation, it would be a crime punishable by up to five years in prison for a convicted child sex offender to use an e-mail address that has not been registered with police, a Home Office spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

However, the report goes on to say that “the government acknowledges it has yet to work out the details of how the plan would work.”

Yep. That’s the Broonies for you.